Star BBC technology presenter Spencer Kelly and Lords peer Baroness Hussein-Ece OBE are amongst a host of exemplary individuals set to be honoured by Coventry University in its graduation ceremonies next week.
The honorary graduands will receive commendations from the University in the same week that over 6,000 students are awarded their degrees during ceremonies in Coventry Cathedral.
Kelly, who fronts the BBC’s flagship tech programme Click, will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Technology in recognition of the outstanding way he has communicated innovations in IT to a wide audience.
The Right Honourable Baroness Hussein-Ece – a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords – will be honoured with a Doctorate of Letters in recognition of her work representing ethnic minorities and her input towards the peace process in Cyprus.
Eight other outstanding individuals will be awarded honorary degrees throughout the graduation week, including Coventry University alumnus Angus Russell, who announced his retirement from the role of CEO at pharmaceutical giant Shire plc last month.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Madeleine Atkins of Coventry University said: “All of our honorary graduates have made a significant contribution to their specialist areas of knowledge and practice which is worthy of recognition, and we are proud of their association with Coventry University. It will be a pleasure to welcome these outstanding individuals alongside our graduating students at our annual award ceremonies.”
Details of each of the awards and when they will be presented are as follows:
Friday 16 November at 2.30pm – (London campus)
Ms Suki Thompson – Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of her work alongside major global organisations, and for having a truly international perspective in her business. A co-founder of leading London-based marketing consultancy Oystercatchers, Ms Thompson was recently ranked in the top 100 most influential people in marketing. She will become the first honorary graduate of Coventry University’s London campus, and will receive her commendation at the Coventry University London graduation ceremony at the Honourable Artillery Company, London.
Monday 19 November at 3.00pm – (Coventry campus)
Mr Simon King – Honorary Doctor of Letters (DLit) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field of design and creativity. Mr King has been the Operations Director for global creative agency Imagination for nine years, with additional board responsibility for IT and digital production. He is a passionate advocate of digital technology, both as a force for self-development and personal growth in a changing world and as a means of retaining commercial advantage in a competitive global marketplace.
Tuesday 20 November at 10.30am – (Coventry campus)
Mr Angus Russell – Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of his outstanding services to global commerce. Over the past 13 years Mr Russell has led Shire plc through a period of strong growth and diversification, turning it from a small UK-based pharmaceutical firm into a massive FTSE 100-listed global operation providing healthcare services to help people with life-altering conditions. Mr Russell announced last month that he would be retiring from Shire next April.
Tuesday 20 November at 1.00pm – (Coventry campus)
Professor Viv Bennett – Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of her services to the NHS and for her contribution to improving health services in Coventry and Warwickshire. In her roles as Director of Nursing in the Department of Health and Lead Nurse for Public Health England, Professor Bennett has – through advice to Ministers and professional leadership – positively influenced policy development around public health nursing, particularly in the areas of children and families. Prior to her post in the DH, Professor Bennett held senior positions in both the Coventry and Warwickshire Primary Care and NHS Trusts.
Wednesday 21 November at 10.30am – (Coventry campus)
Mr Spencer Kelly – Honorary Doctor of Technology (DTech) in recognition of his outstanding communication of IT innovations to a wide audience. The Cambridge-educated computer science graduate and BBC presenter is renowned for his quirky insights into weird and wonderful technological developments around the world, from virtual bakeries in Japan to satellite broadband in sub-Saharan Africa. Mr Kelly is a regular guest on BBC Radio 2 and Radio 5 Live, where his ability to communicate complex new technologies in plain English has won him widespread acclaim.
Wednesday 21 November at 1.00pm – (Coventry campus)
Mr Gary Chapman – Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of his contribution to global aviation operations and education. Mr Chapman, President of Group Services and ndata at the Emirates Group, has helped build the profile of the Emirates Aviation College in Dubai, which every year produces highly-skilled engineers and air traffic controllers to go on and work in the global aerospace industry. The college’s postgraduate courses are taught in conjunction with Coventry University.
Wednesday 21 November at 4.00pm – (Coventry campus)
Mr Srikantan Moorthy – Honorary Doctor of Technology (DTech) in recognition of his work to develop, through competency building, the global skills of IT and engineering professionals. Mr Moorthy, who is Head of Education and Research at Bangalore-based business and tech consulting firm Infosys, has been instrumental in the development of a joint Continuing Professional Development programme between Coventry University and Infosys. Infosys has over 153,000 employees in 33 countries, and the programme is set to boost the skills of its workforce globally.
Thursday 22 November at 10.30am – (Coventry campus)
Mr George Marsh – Honorary Life Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contribution in support of the University both as a governor and as a pro vice-chancellor. Mr Marsh is former chair of the University’s Board of Governors, and is widely recognised for his work pioneering excellence in the construction industry.
Thursday 22 November at 4.00pm – (Coventry campus)
Mr Laurie McIlwee – Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of his contribution to financial services. Since graduating from Coventry University with a degree in economics in 1983, he has worked in a number of senior finance positions in the banking and retail sector before joining Tesco in 2000 as finance director. Mr McIlwee went on to lead a successful restructuring and redesign of the supermarket’s supply chain, and in 2009 was appointed to the role of chief finance officer.
Friday 23 November at 11am – (Coventry campus)
Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece OBE – Honorary Doctor of Letters (DLit) in recognition of her work for equal and fair representation of ethnic minorities and of her input towards the peace process in Cyprus. In May 2010, following roles as a race equality officer and cabinet member for health and social care, Baroness Hussein-Ece became the first woman of Turkish-Cypriot origin to be appointed to the House of Lords, where she sits as a Liberal Democrat peer. Her achievements followed years of campaigning and support for minority groups, including establishing the first programme dedicated to supporting Turkish and Kurdish women who were victims of domestic violence.